updated 07:22 am EDT, Thu August 15, 2013
New hire Holtman to help Microsoft gaming efforts
Microsoft has picked up an ex-employee from Valve Software, in order to work on its PC gaming and entertainment offerings. Jason Holtman, one of 25 staff members let go from Valve in February for unknown reasons, is said to have spearheaded Valve's Steam gaming platform over the last eight years, and could end up helping Microsoft compete against something he helped create.
Holtman confirmed the move to Gamesindustry International, stating "Yes, I have joined Microsoft where I will be focusing on making Windows a great platform for gaming and interactive entertainment." While he did not disclose what exactly he was going to do at Microsoft, currently in the midst of launching the Xbox One globally, it is speculated that he could help improve relations with developers with regard to Games for Windows Live, a service generally dismissed by gamers.
The reasons behind the rare mass-firing of Holtman and other high-profile employees from Valve are still unknown. At the time, Valve Founder Gabe Newell was forced to speak out about the unfavorable press coverage, reassuring readers that projects aren't being cancelled, priorities and projects were not being changed, and that "We're not going to discuss why anyone in particular is or isn't working here."